tv BBC World News BBC America April 30, 2014 6:00am-7:01am EDT
hello. i'm geeta guru-murthy with bbc world news. our top stories. after the botched execution of convicted murderer clayton lockett the state of oklahoma is to review how it carries out the death penalty. where are our children? nigerian mothers march today to demand government action two weeks after schoolgirls were abducted. three years after the withdrawal of american forces, polling is on the way in iraq. first parliamentary elections. the man tipped to be india's
next prime minister narendra modi votes. india's marathon poll. hello. welcome. prison officials in the american state of oklahoma have halted an execution halfway through after botching the delivery of a new untested combination of drugs. the prisoner, clayton lockett, was said to be shaking uncontrollably 20 minutes after the first drug was administered. prison officials say he died of a heart attack more than 40 minutes later. the state is now reviewing its execution policy. >> reporter: clayton lockett was convicted of shooting a 19-year-old woman and watching as his friends buried her alive. last night he suffered his own gruesome death. his was to have been the first of two executions by lethal
injection on the same evening at this oklahoma prison. but something went badly wrong. after being strapped to the gurney, a doctor injected him with a sedative at 6:23 p.m. at 6:33 he was declared unconscious and he was injected with two more drugs to end his life. but at 6:36 he began writhing on the gurney, breathing heavily and trying to speak. >> at 6:39 he's still lifting his shoulders and head off the gurney. grima grimacing. and appeared to be in distress. >> from start to finish, 6:23 the execution started. 6:39 is when they closed the curtains on us. a 16 minute process to watch. >> reporter: a prison official had been expected to confirm his execution to waiting journalists. but as the time passed, it became clear there was a problem. >> i notified the attorney general's office, the governor's
office of my intent to stop the execution and requested a stay for 14 days for the second execution scheduled this afternoon. >> reporter: but it was already too late for clayton lockett. he died of a massive heart attack 43 minutes after his execution began. lethal injection is now the most commonly used execution method in the 32 american states that have the death penalty. but sourcing the drugs required has become difficult. the eu has banned their export. and american companies will only supply them under legal anonymity. lawyers for lockett had sued the state to find out who would supply the drugs, a battle they lost. but this botched execution p provides a new argument for those who oppose the death penalty. >> the legal battle has been over the drugs themselves. and whether or not that they could be used in such an execution and would cause a quick death that would be compatible with -- that would not be a form of cruel and
unusual punishment. for his death to occur under these circumstances is certainly interesting to say the least. >> reporter: clayton lockett's slow death has put the execution of charles warner on hold for two weeks, at least. and it's reignited the debate about whether it's possible to guarantee a humane death sentence. bbc news. the sultan of brunei has issued a decree introducing strict islamic punishments that will eventually include amputations and stoning. the plans were first announced last year but were delayed under the new code to begin this week. jail and fines will be imposed for offenses including failure to attend private prayer. floggings and amputations for theft. stoning for sodomy and adultery. the mothers of around 200 nigerian schoolgirls abducted two weeks ago have been holding a protest marge in the capital
abuja. they're frustrated from a lack of action by authorities. the girls were taken from their boarding school. some say they've been sold into marriage in neighboring cameroon. protests expected after schools closed later today. bbc is in abuja for the latest. what sort of turnout of people are you expecting to see on these protests? is it likely to have any impact on what the government's doing? >> reporter: those are two very good questions. in terms of turnout, abuja itself, central abuja is about 1 million people. when you expand it out to abuja about 3 million people. it would require 1 in 3 people to attend the protest march if they're going to achieve the 1 million people they expect. but one of the things the organizers have been saying is they don't get very big numbers, it is also quite possibly reflective of nigerian society
at large about apathy and lack of care for our fellow people. what sort of impact it's going to have, who knows. what's happened over the last couple weeks since the girls were taken, there's been a bit of silence from the government. just yesterday the senate president said everything had to be done to get the girls back. he said nigeria was in a state of war. he said they have to be -- insuinsu insurgents have to be defeated as soon as possible and with minimal loss of life. he himself is a military man. >> there's been some speculation, i gather, though, you know, about infiltration even into the military from some of the militants. this is obviously a very, very emotive case. people must be fearful if nothing is done to stop this there could be other cases like this in the future. >> reporter: that's exactly why the mothers are here to protest. not just mothers of the girls who've been kidnapped, but mothers from across the country. they're saying this could have been our daughters. it could have been our sisters.
with regard to whether they infiltrated the military, jonathan goodluck even said boko haram was even in his government. people are frustrated and angry. that's the reason they're going to be out on the streets of abuja. other nigerian cities today and tomorrow. tomorrow is may day holiday in niger nigeria. >> we spoke yesterday. you gave us details of where they thought the girls might be. some of them might have been forced to marry some of the militant leaders. has there been any update on their whereabouts at all today? >> no updates at all, geeta. no updates at all. in fact, there was a news report in britain that said some of the negotiations were taking place and the girls were going to be released fairly soon. we've worked our sources very hard here. there's no indication of any such thing taking place. we're going to keep looking out and talking to people that we know, people on the ground, people close to the girls and people close to where the militants were holding them in
the first place. but we have nothing, no sort of indications along those lines just yet. >> many thanks there in abuja. a large camp for syrian refugees is opening up in jordan. it's said to be the best planned facility for displaced people ever built. it has -- >> reporter: at the moment, it looks a bit like a ghost town. but very soon the first syrian refugees are going to be moving into this area. it's been over a year in the making. but it's said to be the best camp of its kind that's ever been built. now, we've been taking a look around. an area like this with this group of shelters would probably be used to accommodate an extenlded family. you can see they've got their own bathroom facilities. if we look inside one of the shelters, a maximum of five
syrian refugees will be living in here. you can see that the home has been designed with a high ceiling. that's really helped with ventilation. it's actually quite cool even though we're in the middle of the hot desert. there are these wires so the partitions can be put up by the family. and they'll receive all kinds of household items when they arrive. things like mattresses, a gas stove, also a charger. things that will help them settle into their lives here. there are still final preparations being made. but the aid agencies and the authorities say they've learned a lot of lessons from their troubled experiences at jordan's vast camp. here each area, ors have village as they're calling it, will have its own clinic, its own school and a central supermarket. security should be much better. initially up to 51,000 syrian refugees could be housed here at
the camp. but with no end in sight, the complex next door could be expanded to take in as many as 130,000 people. voters in iraq are going to the polls in the first parliamentary election since the withdrawal of american armed forces three years ago. polling has been open for several hours now. the current prime minister nuri al maliki seen here casting his vote hoping to secure a third term in office. a shiite coalition led by mr. maliki is expected to win the most seats in the election but unlikely to get a majority over 9,000 candidates competing for 328 seats. some 22 million iraqis headed to the polls today with almost 50,000 polling stations open across the country. security concerns continue to dominate the election. iraq is experiencing the worst unrest it's seen since 2008.
in the capital baghdad, the government has now temporarily closed the airport and the main roads in and out of the city to try and reassure the voters there. but two entire cities can't vote at all because of the fighting here in anbar province, ra maddie and fallujah. a standoff between al qaeda government and the iraqi army has prevented any polling stations being set up in either city for today's votes. >> in the weeks since we've been here, 160 people have been killed in ethnic and sectarian violence here in iraq. directed towards the elections here in baghdad today it's fairly quiet on the streets. cars have been banned. in an attempt to bolster security as 21 million iraqis head to the polls. we've been speaking to some of those voters. >> translator: if you look at a map of the world you would see iraq at the heart of it. we need a change in the country.
there is serious work to be done. iraq is a strong country. we will see progress and prosperity in the future. >> translator: it's not good. we are begging in the streets. we have no money, no jobs. my son was arrested just because he is a sunni. we don't know where he is. i'm begging in order to provide for his children. we don't want this government. they are thieves. they are killing us. >> some of the voices, quentin, of people who can vote. tell us about parts of the country where polling is just not possible. >> reporter: that's right, geeta. you mentioned anbar in the west of the country. there is in effect a war going on there. most of the world hasn't been paying much attention. it's been focused elsewhere in the region. but something like half a million people in anbar, mainly sunnis, have had to flee their homes. the reason they're doing that is because insurgents inspired by al qaeda have taken over fallujah and they've taken over
ramadi in anbar province. the government is having a real hard time dislodging. it's been trying to get rid of them, they have for four months. locals say they are caught between sniper bullets from the militants and government bombs on the other side. fallujah, of course, has seen a great deal of violence over the past decade or so. the americans tried to take it once and failed. then when they did eventually take it they lost a huge number of people. the iraqi army are being outmatched by the militants. so this is perhaps the strongest evidence of this huge sectarian divide which is present in iraq which many iraqi politicians have been exploiting rather than trying to heal. geeta, the one bright spot in all of this, iraq has gone to the polls today. iraq is voting. it's a very rare thing here in the middle east to have an active democracy. >> is it possible to say what the expectation is of the result at this stage, quentin? >> reporter: what i can guarantee you is we won't know for a very long time. it isn't possible to say who
might win, whether nuri al maliki will get a third term or whether he will be dislodged as prime minister. because there's been no polling done. no one really knows what will happen. there will certainly be a lot of horse trading after the elections, though, as the various -- as the various factions try to form a government, try to form a coalition. the last time that took nine months, almost ten months to accomplish. so don't expect results any time soon. >> quentin sommerville there in baghdad. aaron is here. we've been talking about twitter today. >> do you use the little birdie? >> only a tiny bit. think it's invading your own privacy if you tweet. >> oh, invade, inschmade. >> is that dinosaurish. >> you don't tweet enough. that's what she's saying, everybody. thanks, geeta p. the social media giant twitter might be in for a tough time today. set to see its shares fall by around or more than 10%. that's when the u.s. markets open later on today. why? well, late last night or late yesterday it reported some
disappointing numbers. let's take a look. monthly active users hit 255 million in the first three months of this year. but membership growth, very important, has slowed to around 25%. revenue for twitter, all the money it brings in, was more than doubled. which is good. that came in at $250 million. it was all thanks to a sharp rise in income from advertising. however, here's the thing. we are still talking about a company that has yet to make a profit. how does twitter do that? we'll focus on that throughout the rest of the day. how about this one? very interesting. battling for the top spot. the united states has been the world's biggest economy for what? more than a century now. but after two decades of some spectacular growth, china is catching up. figures from one organization backed by the world bank suggests the two economic super powers could be neck and neck by the end of this year. the international comparison program, basically it measures
wealth based on the average cost of living in a country rather basically how much will a dollar buy you in different countries as opposed to the recognized total value of output in the economy which we talk about all the time, gross domestic product, gdp. we'll discuss more of this coming up on "gmt" in just over an hour's time. also we've got this for you. the latest in our series on brazil's economy. ahead of the big world cup, of course. not far away. brazil's wealth has grown in the past decade. but deep, deep inequalities remain. nowhere more so than the countries biggest city of sao paulo. property prices have risen. the number of people in need of housing has increased. of course, it's giving a momentum to squatters in the city who say, hang on. with all that money you're spending you should be spending it on housing and not big fancy stadiums for the world cup.
again, we're going to take a look at that. it's a tough debate, indeed. lots going on. follow me on twitter. tweet me. i'll tweet you right back. i tweet. get me @bbcaaron. you do tweet. >> occasionally. >> i want to see one tweet today from geeta. there you go. one tweet a day keeps the doctor away, apparently. >> bbc world news. more to come. after britain's prince harry and his girlfriend cressida bonas break up after two years together, what part living in the media light may play in their split. but we love lollygaggin'. we do. but it's a battlefield out there! you know the chickweed is surrounding yer sidewalk and the dandelions are stealing precious nutrients! now's the time to send in the scotts turf builder weed & feed, man! it kills weeds while it feeds and strengthens your grass. that sounds easy. thanks, scott. any time, kids. get scotts turf builder weed & feed. it's guaranteed.
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to secure the release of about 200 schoolgirls who've been abducted by infamous militants. it is the biggest election in history. today in the seventh phase of india's general election, 140 million people can vote in 7 states and 2 union territories across the country. voting is taking place in all 26 seats in the western state. the chief minister of the state and bbc's candidate for prime minister narendra modi cast his vote. as you can see, lots of crowds of supporters. he got in a bit of trouble for flashing his party symbol lotus. the election commissioner filing a complaint against narendra modi for that. al today's polling elections to
about 80% of seats. the indian parliament will have been completed. nine constituencies in the state of west bengal go to the polls today. for a long time, this was the bastion of the communist parties. the bjp has a marginal presence in the state. to talk about this let's speak to our reporter in bolpol. explain the politics where you are. what are people voting on? i'm sorry. yes. i'm sorry. we've obviously lost the line for that. if we can return it, we will, of course, go back. it's more than a month since
attacks in myanmar forced most of the aid agencies to withdraw. several hundred thousand people depend on the food and health care. the international community of the red cross is still there, but only at about 20% capacity. we asked what the impact has been. >> you haven't had access recently. we can only assume -- both rakhine and communities dependent on humanitarian aid now are not getting it, this has to be very taxing on them. you say you're not being given access to the muslim community. why is that? what's the government telling you as to why you can't go into those camps? >> right now it's a question of acceptance of the communities. it's the question of security for the staff. it's the question of capacity of the government to ensure security.
and basically there's still a lot of resentment amongst the community for any aid that goes to either side, basically. >> your organization has been heavily involved in emergency evacuations, getting people out of camps and remote communities who need medical attention urgently. i understand you're not really able to do that anymore. >> we are still coordinating some of those medical evacuations even if we can't carry them out ourselves. we're working with the ministry of health and with the police for the cases to be sent to hospital. the problem today is that there is a deep fear by patients of being -- being referred to hospitals. that fear often leads to delays or cancellations of referrals to the hospital with dire consequences for the patient. >> when you talk about fear, you
mean the rahinja muslim community believing they're going to be mistreated or even killed if they get to the hospital? >> the fear of not getting the right treatment. the fear of how they will be treated, yes. >> reporter: that's quite horrific, isn't it? >> it is. it is. it is sad. and the consequences of that fear are really, really sudden. the owner of the l.a. clippers basketball team has been banned from the sport for life and fined $2.5 million for making racist remarks. the billionaire donald sterling has been at the center of a storm of controversy in comments he made in a phone call asking a woman not to bring black people to matches. >> i will urge the board of governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in
my power to ensure that that happens. >> a lifetime ban is a lifetime ban. so i think that's already been decided. and, yes, i do think that's the right decision. the next step is where do we go? you know, you think about coaching a team right now, and i actually don't know who to call if i need something. you know? so the quicker that this is done, the better for everyone. royal news now. britain's prince harry has split with his girlfriend of two years, cressida bonas. it ends rumors of a wedding which was sparked after the couple went to their first official engagement together last month. it's thought cressida bonas was struggling to deal with the intense media speculation that came with dating the popular prince. although, of course, that is all speculation. but that announcement has, of course, left the prince with another, again, young eligible
bachelor. a reminder of our top story. prison officials in the american state of oklahoma have halted an execution halfway through after botching the delivery of a new untested combination of drugs. clayton lockett was said to be shaking uncontrollably 20 minutes after the drug was given. he died later o f a heart attack. i'm back in five minutes. hey! [squeals] ♪ [ewh!] [baby crying] the great thing about a subaru is you don't have to put up with that new car smell for long. the versatile, 2015 subaru forester. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru.
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our top stories. after the botched execution of convicted murderer clayton lockett the state of oklahoma is to review how it carries out the death penalty. three years after the withdrawal of american forces, polling is under way in iraq's first parliamentary elections. there's a vast new camp for syrian refugees opens in the jordanian desert, what lessons have been learned from more troubled sites in the country.
hello. prison officials in the american state of oklahoma have halted an execution halfway through after botching the delivery of a new untested combination of drugs. the prisoner, clayton lockett, was still said to be shaking uncontrollably 20 minutes after the first drug was administered. prison officials say he died of a heart attack more than 40 minutes later. oklahoma's department of corrections spoke of the actions they were forced to take during the execution. >> i notified the attorney general's office, the government's office of my intent to stop the execution. and requested a stay for 14 days for the second execution scheduled this afternoon. >> let's get more on this. the bbc's social media producer samantha berry is here. >> it's been one of our biggest
stories online, social platforms, particularly in the last few hours. 4,000 people looking a t this story in the last hour. the reaction on the wall in particular on the social platforms like our facebook page where people can engage with the story have been pretty unsympathetic to the death row inmate. but a lot of them are questioning how could this go so wrong? it's the detail of the story that's really quite uncomfortable for people to read. >> and the details have emerged? >> one of the most chilling accounts from the a.p. correspondent in oklahoma. her name is bailey elyse mcbride. her twitter account played a minute by minute account of what actually happened during that execution. of course, she wasn't allowed to bring in a cell phone, only a pen to this execution. when she did come out she tweeted what happened in that room. and the detail of that is what people are finding quite uncomfortable. and they're questioning how the authorities got this wrong. >> so when you say there's a
vocal minority concerned about the whole process, obviously this is enormously controversial around the world. america, of course, a western democracy. to hear the problems we've seen with the procedure and others is really quite startling, isn't it? >> a lot of people questioning, in particular on twitter, saying if this would happen in another country america would be vocal in their condemnation of it. you have those people that are against death row. a lot of the comments we're getting refer to the 19-year-old that was murdered. that this man was accused of murdering. >> clayton lockett, yes, was convicted of murder of a 19-year-old. >> a lot of the comments talk about her family. and the family of that woman and the justice for her. yes, this botched execution was horrible. but a lot of people commenting on our facebook saying he deserved to die.
>> do you know whether most of the comments are coming from north america? >> quite a global story. a lot of our comments are coming actually from africa and asia. but america as well. but the vast majority of people commenting are actually commenting in african and asian countries. >> of course, they expect a certain standard of procedures in the united states. >> yes. they're surprised that the u.s. and the system in place, that this happened. and it was such a botched execution, we're calling it. >> when people obviously find the story, how have they found it? have they found it from the original reporter or has this come because of our website or other websites? >> a lot being shared on social platforms. a lot being shared on facebook. they're kicking through to bbc online or finding out on tw twitter. >> are you surprised it's caused such a stir? >> no. it's quite an uncomfortable story. stories like that, when people get emotionally attached to a story, something like this where it's quite uncomfortable, the
detail, raises people's interest. online, at least. >> samantha barry, thanks. ukraine's acting president has said ukraine's military is on full combat alert against a possible invasion by russian troops massed on the border. they warned the threat of russia starting a war is, as they put it, real. russia denies accusations. the mothers of around 200 nigerian schoolgirls abducted two weeks ago have been holding a protest march in the capital, abuja. they're frustrated about a lack of action from the authorities. the girls were taken from their boarding school in the northeastern state of borno by militants. some reports are they've been sold into marriage in neighboring cameroon. protests are expected after schools close later today. i asked bbc africa news editor
for the latest on the whereabouts. >> yesterday the nigerian military released a statement which said they were taking seriously a lot of information that's been coming out. which basically means that they have no idea either where the girls are. we've heard that they may have crossed the border into cameroon and, as they say, sold off into marriage. we've not been able to confirm that. we've also heard they've been taken to the border with chad. it's obviously indicates the girls have been split up. the longer it takes for the nigerian government or military to track them down, the more dire the situation is likely to be. >> understandable fury and upset from the families. what do we know about what the government has done, if anything? >> the march today is a vocalization of that national frustration nigerians have had about the government in action. and the government's incompetence, some will say, for dealing with the boko haram
crisis. the northern states by boko haram have been under a state of emergency since may last year. in that period, security control has been taken away from the local government and has been put in the hands of the army. they've effectively been under military control. >> people must worry now there are going to be more incidents like this. if it's seen they've got away with it. and the girls are not returned. >> i think based on the narrative that we have from our compilation of the incidents that have happened in the past year since the state has been under military control, it looks like the incidents have escalated rather than gone down. >> why is there not the attention on it? >> i think the abduction of the girls bring an emotive factor to the issue. because these are vulnerable young girls who were supposedly at school. who had been sent back to school too write their exams. so they were not meant to be in danger. a lot of nigerians feel if young
girls o f that age are not being protected by their state, the country more or less is in trouble. voters in iraq are going to the polls in the first parliamentary elections since the withdrawal of american forces three years ago. polling has been open now for several hours. the current prime minister, nuri al maliki, seen here casting his vote, hopes to secure a third term in office. a shiite coalition led by mr. maliki is expected to win the most seats in the election but unlikely to win the majority. over 9,000 candidates competing for 328 seats. over 22 million headed to the polls today with almost 50,000 polling stations open across the country. while security concerns are still dominating the election, iraq is experiencing its worst unrest since 2008. in the capital baghdad, the government has temporarily closed the airport and some of the main roads in and out of the city to try to reassure voters there. but two entire cities cannot
vote today because of fighting. fallujah and ramadi here in anbar province are suffering with a standoff between al qaeda government and the iraqi army. that's prevented any polling stations being set up in either city. more than 100,000 -- sunni tribesman who once fought against american troops joined them in battle against al qaeda and its affiliates. fighters say they've been neglected, say lallowing the al qaeda inspired -- to reestablish itself. quentin sommerville met a commander. >> reporter: in iraq's long battle with al qaeda and its affiliates, the sunni militia have been on the front lines. sheikh abu salem in the black
leather jacket has led that fight in the north of the country. this gun battle in february ended when the sheikh's men seized the militants' weapons cache and put it out of action. but 20 days later, while the sheikh was in baghdad, the militants returned in strength and took the revenge on his family. >> translator: whoever was in the house, they killed them. my son. my wife. my cousin's wife and her daughter. five of my other children were injured. my son fought back. and as punishment they cut off both of his hands and beheaded him. >> reporter: who do you blame, then, for the attack? do you blame the americans for leaving? or someone else? >> translator: i blame the americans. because they abandoned us. but i blame the iraqi government
much more, because they gave us no support and they made us weak. >> reporter: why is it you think that isis and al qaeda have come back so strongly here in iraq? >> translator: because the security forces are weak and al qaeda seized support from outside. after the americans withdrew we were neglected by government and al qaeda became strong again. many of us were captured. and years of hard work disappear in a moment. now they want to take their revenge. >> reporter: i think a question that everyone would like to know the answer to is, how do you recover from something like this? >> translator: i don't think i can stay here in iraq. i want the world to hear my pain.
how can anyone carry on after they lose their family? in my head, i see the place where they were killed. >> reporter: i'm sorry. i'm sorry. do you and your family feel safe in iraq today? >> translator: i expect to be attacked again. i feel as if isis are always following me. they could target me anywhere in iraq. maybe i will lose many more of my family. i need to protect those i have left. if i die, who'll look after
them? >> sheikh abu salem speaking to quentin sommerville. let's get some more of our news stories today. activists -- school in northern syrians -- killing at least nine people. the bomber reportedly hit a school in the east of the city. three children are amongst those killed. rescuers looking for the remains of the missing malaysia airlines flight have dismissed new claims that wreckage has been found. an australian private company said it found evidence of the plane in the bay of bengal. investigators say they'll still certain the plane is thousands of miles farther south near australia. british aid will be cut -- that's according to to a parliamentary report that said pakistan would not need so much aid since it was not having to confront islamist militancy.
the report said it should increase aid for lower income countries especially in subsaharan africa. stay with us here on bbc world news. much more to come. what difference has european union membership made for one of the smallest members ten years after joining the eu. we report from latvia. eather. you are feeling exhilarated with front-wheel drive. you are feeling powerful with a 4-cylinder engine. [ male announcer ] open your eyes... to the 6-cylinder, 8-speed lexus gs. with more standard horsepower than any of its german competitors. this is a wake-up call. ♪ so, what'd you think of the house? did you see the school rating? oh, you're right. hey, babe, i got to go. bye, daddy. have a good day at school, okay? ♪ [ man ] but what about when my parents visit?
this is bbc world news. i'm geeta guru-murthy with the top stories this hour. after the botched execution of convicted murderer clayton lockett, the american state of oklahoma is reviewing how it carries out the death penalty. voters in iraq are going to the polls in the first parliamentary elections since the withdrawal of american armed forces in 2011. the commissioner from the
united nations has accused both the government forces in south sudan of recruiting child soldiers. they say 9,000 children have been recruited as soldiers in a brutal four month long civil war. our correspondent is in juba. allistar, you've been following events there very closely for a long time. is this going to come as any surprise? >> reporter: i don't think so. what it does, it sends a very strong message. the u.s. secretary general -- the high commissioner of the human rights as well as his special representative for the prevention of genocide following two mass killings that took place across the country in the last couple of weeks to come here. they've traveled around for a couple of days and have come to the conclusion that there are crimes against humanity that are being carried out here. they have meetings with both the president and the leader of the rebel forces, the former vice
president. and warned them in no uncome pri prizing terms they would be held accountable in the future if the troops carried out atrocitieatr. that was a message they took as a warning to prevent this cycle of revenge killing based on ethnic grounds this country has seen. of course that also stark warning a bt the use of child soldiers as well. as you say, 9,000 is the estimate of the number of child soldiers being used on both sides in this 4 1/2 month long conflict. >> i gather the rainy season is due. what about the other factors in terms of -- of risk of famine and so on that will escalate the tensions there? >> reporter: there is a humanitarian crisis on a pretty large scale. 1.2 million people have been displaced. many of them inside the country, many hundreds of thousands to the neighboring countries.
and there is a lot of discussion about the fear of famine. there are already severe and acute shortages of food across the country caused by the displacement of people. people should really have got their crops planted by now. many of them haven't. the rainy season has begun. and that's put problems further down the line when the harvest would be due in october and november. people will then face problems there as well. of course, the violence is continuing. i talk about and they talked about the cycle of revenge. you have an attack. you have killings of people for ethnic grounds. and then you have the other side committing akrtrocities in revee for those. that has been a cycle that's been a downward path in the country over the past few months. there are discussions going on. there are a lot of big and diplomatic efforts being made by the international community both regionally and internationally as well to try and bring these two leaders of the two factions together. to try and urge them to stop the
violence and to try and get the peace deal which is being discussed. that is over the cease-fire. to hold and to try and move things forward, break the cycle of violence and try to pull the country back essentially from the verge of catastrophe. >> many thanks. a large new camp for syrian refugees is opening in central jordan. al azraq camp is said to be the best planned facility for displaced people ever built. they have 4,500 shelters plus schools, hospitals and a supermarket. >> reporter: at the moment, it looks a bit like a ghosttown. but very soon the syrian refugees are going to be moving into this area of al azraq camp. it's been over a year in the making. but it's said to be the best camp of its kind that's ever been built.
an area like this group of shelters would be probably be used to accommodate an extended families. they've got their own bathroom facilities. if we look inside one of the shelters a maximum of five syrian refugees will be living in here. you can see the home has been designed with a high ceiling. that's really helped with ventilation. it's actually quite cool even though we're in the middle of the hot desert. there are these wires so the partitions can be put up by the family. and they'll receive all kinds of household items when they arrive. things like mattresses, a gas stove, also a charger. things that will help them settle into their lives here. there are still final preparations being made. but the aid agencies and the authorities say they've learned a lot of lessons from their troubled experiences at jordan's vast zaatari camp. here each area, or village as they're calling it, will have its own clinic, its own school
and there will be a central supermarket. security should be much better. initially up to 51,000 syrian refugees could be housed here at al azraq camp. but with no end in sight to the conflict next door, in future it could be expanded to take in as many as 130,000 people. ten years ago this thursday, aid fr eight former communist countries joined the eu. for many it was a return home. latvia didn't even exist as a country until the collapse of the berlin wall in 1989. how has eu membership been for one of its smallest members? >> reporter: 25 years ago the beauty was hidden behind the soviet union's iron embrace. 15 years later it willingly joined another union. the european union. has membership left a sweet
taste for latvia? take this family run biscuit factory. it has boomed since the eu became its main market instead of russia, producing 10,000 biscuits a day. >> ten years ago we had employed 25 people. now we're employing 80. our turn over has increased by 80%. instead of having one country for export we have 18. we have increased our productions ten-fold. we feel safer sending our goods there and receiving the payment. >> reporter: tiny latvia only has 2 million people and since joining has received 4.3 billion euros from the eu to spend on roads, schools and modernizing homes. after the last decade latvia gdp has almost tripled. it's now the fastest growing economy in europe. this farmer voted no to eu membership. despite have been received over 400,000 euros and grants, he still thinks the eu has been bad for the country. >> translator: we have to accept the rules of the eu agriculture
policy. they're not like the one we had during our first independence in 1980. then we have carefully developed lat vee yan agriculture policy. we were one of the best at exports agriculture products currently we're losing because of the agriculture policy of european union. >> reporter: when latvia joined the european union ten years ago it was the poorest country in it. ten years later it's still one of the poorest but incomes have risen by over 50% despite a terrible recession. the challenge for latvia is to keep the momentum going and to finally reach european norm. >> the effect of the eu depends on the generation. for the older generation that grew up in the soviet generation, that's their childhood. that's what they remember. they feel distant from what's going on in the west. for my kids, they go there for vacation. some of their friends live there. some of their friends study there. that's home for them much more than anything even a couple hundred miles to the east from
here. >> reporter: riga is this year's european city of culture. when it comes to the arts, lat vee yans have always -- none more so than the world famous opera singer anesi gallante. joe lynam, bbc news, riga. the owner of the l.a. clippers basketball team has been banned from the sport for life. and fined $2.5 million for making racist remarks. the billionaire donald sterling has been at the center of a storm of controversy over comments he made in a phone call asking a woman not to bring black people to matches. the head of the nba explained why the decision had been made. >> i will urge the board of governors to exercise its authority to force a sale of the team and will do everything in my power to ensure that that
happens. >> a lifetime ban is a lifetime ban. so i think that's already been decided. and, yes, i do think that's the right decision. the next step is where do we go? you know, you think about i'm coaching a team right now, and i actually don't know, you know, who to call if i need something. you know? and so the quicker that this is done, the better for everyone. royal news now. britain's prince harry has split with his girlfriend of two years, cressida bonas. the news ends rumors of a wedding which was sparked after the couple attended their first official engagement together last month. it's believed 25-year-old bonas is struggling to deal with the intense media attention that comes with dating a prince. the couple say they'll remain the best of friends. the kissing of a pig by a school master in china's central province has led to a debate over his behavior. he kissed the animal in front of
his primary school pupils to keep a promise he made to them. he made the promise in march to persuade students to abandon a habit of dropping litter. within a month the students stopped dropping litter and the school became a cleaner place. much more world news. i'm geeta guru-murthy. bye-bye for today. s of reasons. i go to angie's list to gauge whether or not the projects will be done in a timely fashion and within budget. angie's list members can tell you which provider is the best in town. you'll find reviews on everything from home repair to healthcare. now that we're expecting, i like the fact i can go onto angie's list and look for pediatricians. the service providers that i've found on angie's list actually have blown me away. find out why more than two million members count on angie's list. angie's list -- reviews you can trust.
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hello. you're watching "gmt" on bbc world news. i'm tim willcox. our top stories, the bombs and the conflict continues. iraqis are going to the polls for the first time since u.s. troops withdrew three years ago. nigeria's women provoke a rally in abuja. it's all about me. bjp leader narendra modi takes a selfie after casting his vote in the seventh phase of india's marathon election. also in the program, aaron is